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Ovid's Metamorphoses Book II

Story of Europa and Jupiter

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Section showing Europa's garlands on the bull who is carrying her across the sea towards Crete.
Europa carried off by Jupiter in the form of a white bull.

Europa and Jupiter, by Nöel-Nicolas Coypel. 1726-1727. Europa carried off by Jupiter in the form of a white bull.

Public Domain. Courtesy of Wikipedia.
The Phoenician King Agenor's daughter Europa (whose name was given to the continent of Europe) was playing when she saw the enticing milk-white bull that was Jupiter in disguise. First she played with him, decorating him with garlands. Then she climbed on his back and he set off, carrying her across the sea to Crete where he revealed his true form. Europa became queen of Crete. In the next book of the Metamorphoses, Agenor will send Europa's brother out to find her.

Another popular story from the second book of Ovid's Metamorphoses is of Phaethon, the son of the sun god.

The painter, Nöel-Nicolas Coypel (November 17, 1690 - December 14, 1734), was a French artist.

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